by Alphaville Herald on 27/03/09 at 6:00 pm
by Urizenus Sklar, Contributing Editor
Raph Koster is expressing a kind of jaded been-there-done-that-saw-it-coming attitude about what he is seeing at the Game Developers Conference this year, and I’m not surprised. One year you are the crazy nut describing the future to an audience of twelve other nuts, and the next year the room is full of hundreds of suited up, panting, business people who just last year were marketing Band-Aids and motor oil and are now world-wide experts on the great promise of virtual worlds.
But even in the face of this dreary spectacle of suits in rut, Raph can barely disguise his glee over recent developments in the development of 3D browser technology. And who can blame him? The infrastructure of Metaplace is lying there waiting for web based technology to bring it with the 3D. When that happens then life gets very interesting indeed.While virtual worlds like Second Life have proved the concept of 3D virtual worlds, they are still not “of the web”. What happens when robust 3D virtual worlds accessible through a web browser? When the only application you need is Firefox? We’ve seen attempts to push "of the web" virtual worlds before before (remember Trevor Smith’s Ogoglio project?), but now things are heating up.
According to this report in CNet we are getting very close:
The Web is gradually becoming a better foundation for applications with splashy, sophisticated interfaces, but 3D graphics on the Web remain primitive. Now, though, Mozilla, the group behind the Firefox browser, and Khronos, the consortium that oversees the widely used OpenGL graphics interface technology, are trying to jointly create a standard for accelerated 3D graphics on the Web.In response to a Mozilla proposal, Khronos established an Accelerated 3D on Web working group to create a royalty-free specification. The goal is to produce a first public version within 12 months, Khronos said in an announcement at the Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco.
Then there is this, from Mozilla's Vladimir Vukicevic, in an article entitled “3D On the Web: It’s Go Time”:
In the hall of mirrors that is the interwebs, separating hype from reality can be difficult, but this is starting to look like the real deal.